Rise 'n Shine

During the week, my breakfast often consists of a homemade muffin, a piece of fresh fruit and a cup of hot tea laced with honey and milk. As a result, I'm always up for finding new ways to make healthy muffins to start my day. Sometimes they are speckled with dried dates. Other times they are laced with frozen blueberries -- I prefer frozen to fresh in order to keep the muffin batter from turning blue. Still other times grated carrot, zucchini or even sweet potato finds its way into the batter.

Beyond that, I enjoy trying a wide variety of flours and grains in my muffins. Everything from stone ground corn meal to thick cut oats lightly processed in the food processor have starred in my morning treats. I even make an effort to include some of my favorite nuts in the batter to provide a little crunch and some omega-3 fatty acids!

So, this month, I'm sharing a relatively new recipe with you. Upon discovering bananas on sale for 19 cents a pound, I went ... well, bananas! I got way too many to consume within the short time they would be perfectly ripe, so I peeled some and popped them into a freezer bag to be enjoyed in summer smoothies and the like and three of the best specimens got called to active muffin duty. I gathered together some walnuts -- my favorite banana muffin addition -- along with a small container of flaxseed that I had recently ground and been sprinkling on everything from fresh fruit to casseroles. It's a great source of fiber and has a deep nutty flavor to it. With a few more ingredients to round out the recipe, I took to making some muffins. Within minutes, the distinct aroma of bananas and nuts filled the house. It's an air freshener that simply cannot be beat. The muffins are a welcomed treat as well!

As always, I encourage you to share your recipe ideas and comments. You can always post comments in the discussion board using the forms provided in the articles or email me directly at . Enjoy!

Flax Banana Nut Muffins

  • 1 3/4 c. flour -- I like to use a 50/50 mix of white and whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 c. flaxseed meal -- also called ground flaxseed
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 c. canola oil
  • 3 medium bananas -- use very ripe bananas for the truest flavor
  • 1 c. coarsely chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 18 muffin cups with paper liners and lightly spray with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, flaxseed meal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix to combine.

In another bowl, beat the eggs and oil until well combined.

Place the bananas in a large resealable plastic bag and mash. Cut off one end of the bag and press the banana mixture into the dry ingredients. Add the egg mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix until a thick batter forms. Add the nuts and mix to combine.

Fill the prepared muffin cups 2/3 full and bake for 20 minutes or until puffy and light brown.

  • Yields: 18 muffins
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes